In a city like Chicago, there are huge numbers of pedestrians. They are mostly people who walk to the bus or train, and they rely on a safe sidewalk to conduct their daily business. Unfortunately, cleared sidewalks are a rare find on most of the city’s streets. This poses a lot more problems than most would think.
First of all, I’d like to let all property owners know that if I slip and hurt myself on your property I will try to sue you. It is the American way, and I don’t want to seem unpatriotic. Chicago city codes state that you aren’t responsible to remove messes from normal winter weather, but it is your job to take care of it if certain conditions make your sidewalk worse than average. For example: trees that shade your sidewalk and prevent the sun from melting snow and ice naturally. Most streets in Chicago are heavily lined with trees, and I’m sure any money-hungry lawyer could find a good enough cause for a judge to give me a bunch of your money.
Secondly, business owners who don’t create a clear and unobstructed path to your front doors are idiots. In a time when every sale is important, it seems like one would want every customer than can get. In the last week alone, I have personally decided to shop somewhere else because I don’t want to wade knee-deep through the snow to get into a shop. Multiply this by several thousand people and you’re looking at a lot of lost dollars.
Oooo…looks like really hard work, doesn’t it? CRY BABIES!
Thirdly, people often end up walking in the street when the sidewalks are impassable. Last night on my way home the bus driver was literally screaming as she honked at people who were in her way. The road was very narrow and all the pedestrians in the street were holding up traffic, as well as creating safety risks for everyone involved. All because a few people were too lazy to scoop some snow. I’ve had to shovel snow before, so I know it’s not that difficult of a job. Is a lawsuit, lost sales, and squashed people in the middle of the road really worth a few extra minutes on the couch watching American Idol? I certainly don’t think so, but all the evidence seems to prove otherwise.
Image credit: townonline.com